Sunday, July 3, 2011

Modern Gaming-Part the 2nd

First I would like to make it clear that I am not a game nazi who believes there is only one true way or one true game. I have said on many occasions that I believe our strength lies in the IDIC (Yeah, I know, cheesy Vulcan bit so sue me).

And no Sarah, I'm not mad at you or making too many assumptions. It is something I have heard time and again. Let's forget the old stuff and get on with the new stuff.

Well, when the new stuff sux let's not.

Should children drink Bacardi Rum? Or should Bacardi just tone down the liquor, maybe just put water in the bottle. This is what happened to D&D a long time ago and has fostered nothing but ill will ever since. D&D was an adult game made by adults for adults. The day it became a toy for children was the beginning of the end:

Commentary: Dragon Magzine #52, Moldvay Basic D&D Boxed set

Issue #52 of Dragon Magazine features articles from Tom Moldvay AND Dr. J. Eric Holmes looking at the basic boxed sets for D&D. They are very interesting to me for any number of reasons. As the Moldvay boxed set is where I started, I will start with Moldvay's article on the 2nd edition D&D Basic boxed set. , I think my historian background requires me to simply let you read the article for yourself first prior to adding any commentary. I will follow this post later with a commentary.

"...the market has changed since the earlier rules edition. The first D&D market was made up of game buffs and college students. Today, the majority of D&D players are high-school and junior-high students. The new rules edition takes into account the younger readership in its style of writing."

The beginning of the end.(And no, I don't think that children should be banned from gaming-I'm writing a system specifically for children with notes, background and references for parents to become involved and better understand what I believe is a very important part of child growth-make believe and pretend activities-that they rarely seem to get these days with passive entertainment modes).

When TSR caved to pressure groups the face of gaming was changed forever. After '89 it has been a fractured world at best.

I don't think gaming is for everyone. I don't think D&D is for everyone. I don't feel the urge to have to pull more people in to satisfy a bottom line. I think there is a natural balance in gaming that sets itself. The more you try to make a product for the masses the less relevant the product becomes.

The Neo post to me symbolizes what is wrong with the industry and I understand where they are coming from completely. 'PLEASE let me sell you something' becomes WotC's battle cry.

Even though your comment was mild in temper it says the same thing that made me quit most forums:

"This is likely to get me into trouble, but I’ll say it anyway. One of the biggest positives and negatives of the D&D community is that we care too much. We love the game, we love sharing the game, but we want to share our own version of the game. We will repeat old stereotypes, gather around our “the right way to play” banners, and drive off most of the uninitiated. Honestly, it sucks sometimes.

Personally, what I wish sometimes is that we could drop D&D into the hands of the uninitiated devoid of the 70s and 80s context that surrounds the game."

-Sarah Darkmagic

See, taking out the 70's and 80's context you take away the game. Call this new beast "Forever Combat" or "Ultimate Tactical Combat Simulator" and run with it. Build your own history.

But Dungeons & Dragons has a history. I know because I helped in my small way to make it. I went through a lot of crap for this game and the thought of kicking it to the curb just rubs me wrong. You have people burning crap in your yard yelling you are doing the work of Satan and end up closing a shop because people are tired of having to run the gauntlet of freaks scaring their kids and you will see things a little different.

I think it is best summed up with a post from WotC's own forums:

Plea to Hasbro: Please just release the D&D franchise:

"Sell the D&D franchise to someone who cares."


And I think the numbers tell the story. Paizo is now pulling ahead, D&D has went from 24 million players to 1.5 million almost overnight and now the word is they will announce the next atrocity this year at GenCon. Mike Mearls claims in his interview with The Escapist they didn't set out to run off all the players but ever since the release of 3.5 that seems like all they have accomplished.

I think it's Nintendo time for the Wizards...either build a Wii this time or you are out of he game.